Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sober Drinks

Last night's dream was much too sober--I dreamt I killed a man, hit him in the head with an axe, I think, to protect a woman I was certain he was trying to rape. She got really angry and insisted I'd misread the situation, I began to doubt myself, there was a police station and afterwards the impression of complicated legal and counselling proceedings and thinking back on it I find myself saying, "How's that even a proper dream?"

Somehow I think this is related to the fact that I haven't had alcohol in two weeks. I just look at a bottle and am overcome with meh. Maybe I'll have some wine to-night or something.

I've been drinking no alcohol and more caffeine--I'm at three cups of black coffee a day. I'm thinking I'll try going back to tea, however bad it makes my teeth look, but it's going to be hard coming down. Any heroin or cocaine addicts reading, feel free to express your disgust in the comments.

At the moment, I'm drinking coffee with cocoanut milk and I tried putting about half a shot of tart cherry juice in it. It's surprisingly good, like coffee and cherry pie simultaneously. I can't believe I'm thinking about watching Twin Peaks again--I've watched through the whole series twice already in the past three years. And each time I think, "You know, you'd enjoy this more if you waited longer in between viewings."

With lunch to-day, I read the new story in the new Sirenia Digest, "Elegy For A Suicide", which was good, another impressive example from Caitlin of using supernatural elements of a story to illustrate a mental state. As the title suggests, it's about a suicide--it's told in first person, by one of the only two characters in the story, a pair of lovers. Caitlin often mentions how her stories are autobiographical and of this piece she says, in her prolegomenon for this Digest, it is "one of the most intensely personal things" she's ever written. Considering the suicidal woman in the story is referred to only as "E", and the woman in Caitlin's life who committed suicide was named "Elizabeth", it's not hard to see how this story is personal although the circumstances differ in the vignette from how Caitlin's described them occurring in real life in several crucial ways. There are several references to things like Wikipedia and iPhones that didn't exist during Elizabeth Aldrige's lifetime. I think this may be a reflection of the fact that Caitlin considers the issues presented by the experience to have remained current for her in all the time since. Maybe the more significant differences are in the creation of a strange, horrific hole in the ground which supplies E with her method of suicide and the physical infection that represents the mental state leading to suicide. These are two things the speaker is in constant contact with. That is to say, she has very clear evidence that something is clearly wrong so that it functions as the spirit of the sort of compulsive thoughts that occur in the aftermath of a loved one's suicide. Guilt, a sense of a possible direct responsibility through inaction or even exacerbation as the protagonist describes having sex with E as also being like having sex with her infection, even suggesting that the adrenaline from intercourse is what provides E with the courage to carry out the suicide.

It's a very good story at making the interior exterior, taking thoughts and manifesting them in a form that communicates to the reader the oppressive nature of unending self-reproach.

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